Magic and Might
Chapter 12: Reflection
Phase One: Assemble
Harry was sitting in his new office thinking of how things were progressing. Sif had returned to Asgard to give her report. Now he was sitting in his new office in New York City. Miranda had pulled together all their money to create a company. He also had investors and stockholders in his company. Of course, to make a large company, he had to buy a bunch of smaller companies. However, in truth, it was a shell company to hide the activities of the Order and Chaste.
This also meant he had to create a public identity. This wasn't hard, it just meant the governments of the world would have their eye on him. It didn't matter. No matter what reason they came up with, they couldn't touch him without the stock market falling. He also had backups in place should anything happen.
Yesterday was an exciting day. At least it was for S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America finally woke up. Though he roughed up several agents as he first believed HYDRA was keeping him prisoner. He accepted the fact he had slept for nearly seventy years when he saw time square.
Nick Fury requested that Captain America be put on the list for the Avengers Initiative. That made two people on the list. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. was having trouble finding people to be Avengers. Harry had his own list of people who he thought would be remarkable Avengers. Though that would mean they would have to give their identity and abilities to S.H.I.E.L.D. knowing them as well as he did; they did not want that.
Harry sighs as he went back to his original task. WebCorps had become a new business and was already turning a lot of heads. As much as Harry didn't want to, he gave a presentation at Tony Stark's Expo and presented his new ideas. To say the least Tony Stark was impress was an understatement. Tony had Pepper to create a deal with him. Tony even started trying to buy shares in his company. Of course, Harry didn't allow it. He was, however, willing to work with Stark. His medical field was also improving. Though this started putting him in competition with OsCorps. Harry began to look at Norman Osborn profile carefully. Norman Osborn was a powerful man. He was a billionaire like Tony Stark. He also made friends with many politicians. He also had a ruthless reputation. Destroying his rivals and taking over their business. He also had employees that have died mysteriously. Or have been fired for no clear reason.
One thing that caught Harry's attention was the genetic research OsCorps was conducting. Nothing appeared on the surface, but he was sure they were researching ways to replicate the super soldier formula.
All he knew was all attempts to replicate the serum had failed. OsCorps was throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into this project without getting anywhere.
Harry sighs as he leans back in his chair. The board had reported things were running smoothly. Their stock market had risen and was staying in the green.
Harry thought back to Banner. He would have loved to have Banner work for him. Doctor Banner was a genius beyond his time. He was sure he would have loved WebCorps R&D Department.
This caused him to turn to other companies that could be a problem.
Pym Tech was currently run by Darren Cross after he successfully kicks Hank Pym out of the company. Harry was sure Cross was up to no good. He was spending millions of dollars on a project and everything was on the hush hush. Meaning he was after something.
Hank Pym's apparently had a file in S.H.I.E.L.D. but it was heavily classified. Even Harry couldn't access that file without Fury knowing.
Harry was brought out of his train of thought when his office phone began to ring.
"Hello?" Harry answers calmly.
"It's Miranda, S.H.I.E.L.D. just had a hacker breach its security," Miranda said.
"Do we know what they took?" Harry asks.
"A lot of information. The problem is S.H.I.E.L.D. can't track the IP Address of the hacker. We're still unclear what they are after." Miranda replies.
"Not much we can do. Ask for the copy of the files that were taken and we can see from our end what was important enough for the hacker to steal from S.H.I.E.L.D. The information could be the clue." Harry said.
"I'll put in the request," Miranda said.
Harry sighs as he thought about Miranda. She has stayed with him all this time. She was also very good what she did. Serving as the Chairman of the Board of WebCorps.
The only downside was this caused the Illusive Man to become aware of their existence. Harry made sure his network security was top of the line. Only accessible from the inside with the new wave link. He was sure the Illusive Man wasn't too happy he couldn't get access to his network.
Harry had also hired many people he had met over the years. Putting them in fields of study best suited to their abilities.
Tony Stark also had finally created a new core for his new chest piece and defeated Whiplash. Though he had help from Justin Hammer's stolen Mark II rename as Iron Patriot. Nick Fury had apparently taken his words to heart and denied Tony Stark a membership to the Avengers. Tony, however, didn't take offense to it. Realizing that he wasn't suited to be a team player.
Coulson had been reassigned to New Mexico because something fell out of the sky. For the time being, he was focused on making his company run smoother. Though he was also looking for dangerous individuals. Many of them had disappeared in society.
Though he did have several remarkable individuals in a secret prison.
Harry was sure without a doubt, once the government realized there were remarkable people with abilities, they would try to control them and turn them into living weapons. While some would accept the government's orders, he was sure many would refuse. This could result in a war.
Harry had lost faith in the government. He learned his lesson from Fudge's term as Minister of Magic of the incompetence of politics. They only did what was best for themselves, and they always have been.
That meant he would have to fight the government and any government dogs they would send his way.
The appearance of Asgard had to change the board. The good news was as long as Harry answered Asgard's call, they would come to his aid as well. Meaning he had a powerful ally against the governments.
Tony had so far rejected the governments attempt to control the Iron Man suit. Apparently Tony understood if the government had control of the Iron Man suit, they would not hesitate to start World War III with countries they have problems with.
At least that's what he hoped why Tony was keeping the suit.
Still, Harry didn't trust Stark. He was too much of a loose cannon. More like a cowboy riding into town and shooting anything that moves. Recent events showed he wasn't very aware of his actions.
Harry sighs as leans back in his chair.
Banner had disappeared. Though he was reported to be seen in India.
Banner, Harry was sure he would have liked him to be an Avenger. Not only was he intelligent but he was perhaps the strongest and most dangerous person in the world. Very few people realized it. The problem was Ross wouldn't just let Banner be an Avenger. He was sure he would roll in with the Army to take him in and replicate the Other Guy.
Ross, Harry looks back at the file he had on Ross and the file S.H.I.E.L.D. had on him. The man deserved to be in prison for war crimes dating back almost twenty years. Harry knew these files would prove most useful later on down the line. Especially if Ross decides to get involved with him.
Harry places the cube on the table and the table lights up with profile pictures.
Erik Lehnsherr. Also known as Magneto. Was an enhance individual with the power to control anything metal and magnetism. This made him one of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world. Harry, however, was lucky, when he formed the deal with him. Magneto would not destroy the world in return for Harry not getting in his way. However, Magneto warned him that the governments of the world wouldn't hesitate to turn on him for their own benefit.
This caused Harry to paused on how there were so many enhance individuals.
Magneto got his powers back in World War II in a Nazi Death Camp. It was unclear as to why he got his powers but he did.
This also led to questions about Wolverine who was the oldest person alive. His service records date back to the America Civil War. Stating he was clearly over a hundred years old. Perhaps older.
The answer finally came from Sif.
Iso-8. A unique and rare rock whose origins were unknown. However, it immediate a strange radiation that was capable of alternating a person's genetic code. Granting them abilities or intelligence.
It would explain both Wolverine's case as well as Magneto's. They were not experimenting on or given abilities by any other means.
The Iso-8 was clearly the only explanation.
Harry sighs as he closes the screen and rubs his temple.
It was too much of a headache. The possibility of enhancing individual's appearing was too much.
All he knew, was he would fight the fight when it came.
Harry turns around and sighs.
He presses a button and holographic image appears in his room. New York was starting to become a battleground as countless criminal syndicates were rising and taking over.
New York in a strange way was becoming the center for criminal enterprises.
Thanks to his affiliation with Chaste, his martial arts skills were top notch. He knew how to fight like a ninja and understand his surroundings. He also understood who his enemies were. The Cabal. The Hand, and Hydra. He was sure he had other, more enemies out there but time would tell when they revealed themselves.
The problem was even though Harry was strong, had a healing factor and all. He was still vulnerable. A well-placed shot could put him down for good.
Fortunately, Harry was reaching a solution. Hary presses a holographic button on his desk and a holographic image of a tactical suit appeared before Harry. It was a tactical suit that was extremely light, so it wouldn't slow him down. Yet it was incredibly durable, one of the strongest body armor there was. More than capable of handling firearms that were common on the street. It would even be able to take on submachine guns that many powerful criminal syndicates were carrying around. He may join the Avengers, but he was going to fight the criminal elements here in New York.
"Miranda," Harry said speaking into the intercom. "Come to my office."
Miranda walks to his office. She was really good in the business world. Knew how to speak the right words and form deals with no trouble. She was responsible for keeping WebCorps up and running. She also gave Harry alibies when he needed them. The one thing he wasn't going to do, revealed his identity to the public. He wasn't like Stark who couldn't understand the dangers of hero public identity.
"What is it?" Miranda said as she enters his office.
"How soon can we get Saronite" Harry asked.
"We should have some in storage," Miranda said.
"When formed as plates and body armor, it ranks just below vibranium in defense. Able to take punishment. I doubt thugs will be walking around will sull semi-automatic weapons but still, I can't run around in spandex." Harry said.
"Why don't you say the password and get a marvelous prize." A voice said from his wall glass panel.
Harry and Miranda turn to it and looks at it.
"I was wondering when you were going to hack my system. You're not outside, meaning you're in the building. How long you've been eavesdropping?" Harry asks.
The glass panel showed an image of a young woman wearing a black hood. Her face was almost impossible to see due to the hood creating a shadow over her eyes. Her lips, however, had purple markings on it.
"Here I thought I would have a little fun. It wasn't easy to hack your network. The web wave is almost ingenious. The next step in security. But I had my fun. What's this I hear about you needing Saronite?" Kasumi Goto asks.
"When melted down and forming plate, it's tough body armor. Its durability is better than dragon skin. I can't get my hands on vibranium. It cost billions just to get a sample of one." Harry said.
"Well, today is your lucky day. I know someone who has vibranium and it's just sitting there ripe for the taking. You give me one month and I'll make sure you have a great supply of vibranium."
"I won't have the money to pay you. And I don't want the vibranium to end up in the wrong hands." Harry said.
"We'll talk about payment later. I still owe you." Kasumi said.
"For walking out on me for dinner. Or the fact you left my bed just to steal my accounts." Harry said.
"Well, nobody's perfect," Kasumi said as the image disappears.
Harry and Miranda turn around to see Kasumi standing there.
"Still loving my cloaking tech I see. I trust it's been useful." Harry said.
"Very, people don't see me and I can still get in and out of places without triggering any alarms. I have to remain the best thief in the business and this tech is dead useful."
"The best thief?" Harry repeated.
"I am the best thief. But not the most famous. I have to watch my tracks to keep it that way. I'm not the type who likes the attention. Anyway, give me a month and I'll get you some vibranium." In saying that, Kasumi disappeared and vanished.
"Even if you could get your hands on vibranium," Miranda said softly as she turns to face Harry. "The ability to weave vibranium is only known to Wakanda. The best we would be able to make out of it is weapons. We won't be able to make a suit."
"I know," Harry said as he presses places his small cube on his desk and the image of a tactical suit appeared. "the Saronite alloy may be our best option."
"Maybe not. There is another element we could use for you that may prove to be more promising. Lightweight, at least a third of the weight of steel, yet far more durable."
"What's that?" Harry asks.
"Adamant. It also goes by the name of Adamantine. It's other name, perhaps the most famous name, is Olympian Steel. The ore when smelted down and forged together, becomes nearly indestructible. It's much easier to handle and mend than Vibranium."
"What could crack it?" Harry asked.
"A rocket launcher. It would take a lot of firepower to begin to crack the armor. The only thing that you would have to be careful of, is Adamantium and Vibranium wielders. Without a doubt, they would be able to slice through the armor with ease." Miranda said.
"How soon can you get the suit up and running?" Harry asks.
"Give me a week to obtain the materials. Then we can begin constructing your suit."Miranda said.
"Keep it on the down low. We already have eyes on us and I don't want the wrong people getting wind of what I'm about to do. Also, we both know the Illusive Man is already onto us. But I'm sure he is frustrated over the fact that he cannot hack into my companies network. Make sure you do this, under deep shadow conditions. I want this done silently." Harry said.
"Understood. This is the sort of thing I'm good at. Isn't that why you allow me to be your second?" Miranda said.
"It would be hard to replace you. But just as I can't replace you, you can't replace me. we're stuck together. So similar, yet so different." Harry said.
Miranda placed her hand on Harry's chest as she looks at his chest before looking up and stares into his eyes. Her light blue eyes stare into Harry's dark green emerald eyes.
"The difference between us is you're a natural leader. I was born to be perfect. You had your gifts before they changed you. I could never be like you. I'm not…" Miranda began but she pauses as she takes her breath. "I'm not a leader. Sure I like to be in charge, but people really listen to you. You were great before we found you." Miranda said.
"You sell yourself short. You're great too, you just don't realize it." Harry said.
"Am I great because of my skills, or because I was genetic enhance?" Miranda said with a small smile.
"You could have all the talents and power in the world. That doesn't make you a good person. What makes you a great person is here…" Harry said pointing to her head. "and here." Harry said pointing to her heart. "All you need is to believe in yourself. And you need to trust the right person."
"Like I trust you?" Miranda said with a smile on her face.
"There is something between us, there is no doubt of that," Harry said. "But I don't want what we have for each other to jeopardize our relationship. We have to be professional. But I know that line will eventually get cross if we continue to feel the way we do."
Miranda placed her hand on Harry's chest and looks at him in the eye. "There are feelings, no doubt. I think it's because we're similar that we've bonded the way we have. We're both design and possibly bred to be perfect. Despite this, you were better before you were changed. You were already unique. Now, you're even more extraordinary. I…" Miranda pauses for a moment as if she was trying to say what she really felt. "I wouldn't be lying, I told you I find so much about you attractive. I… before we do anything. That we're both going to enjoy and may end up regretting. If we do this, I want us… I want us to be sure this is something we're going to love and enjoy."
Harry placed his hand over hers and holds her close. He knew they were getting close. Yet the rule of not mixing business with pleasure was something his uncle Vernon always spoke about. He even mentions how he suspected some of his workers were fooling around and he would complain loudly about it.
However, even he couldn't deny he had developed feelings for Miranda. The started out sticking together for the sake of survival. Using Miranda's contacts and intelligence, they built Ravencrest. In truth, Ravencrest was merely a shell of the Order. To fight both the Hand and the Templars.
So far, they haven't made contact and the Templar's reach was only in Eurasia, Europe and most of America. They had their hands in almost everything. From politics to corporations, to crime. The Order, or Assassins, weren't into politics. Believing politics was a nasty business. They did, however, associated with some gangs, businesses, and some government agencies.
Yet a war could be seen storming over the horizons.
Author Note: Still tend to forget I have this story. I'm surprise, I started this early yet Avengers: Battlegroud has overrun it. I hope everyone enjoys.